Since Carter returned Tut to his tomb in 1926 the young king has been x-rayed twice: in 1968 by a team from England's University of Liverpool and in 1978 by a University of Michigan anthropologist.
The 1968 x-rays revealed a bone fragment inside the king's skull. The finding prompted the theory that the boy king was murdered by a blow to the head during the unsettled period of his reign.
The fragments are now deemed to be after-death damage, likely inflicted by Carter, because they show no evidence of being inundated with the embalming fluid used to preserve the pharaoh for the afterlife.
Tut Appears to Have Been Healthy
The scans paint a picture of a well-nourished 19-year-old pharaoh in good health.
"Judging from his bones, the king was generally in good health. ... There are no signs of malnutrition or infectious disease during childhood," the report states.
All researchers agreed that the mummy was carefully and extensively embalmed. Some proponents of murder theories had previously suggested a harried and rushed embalming process.
The report concurred with many conclusions of earlier x-ray analyses, such as the king's tender age at death.
Additional information also came to light. The young Tut had a slightly cleft palate and an impacted wisdom tooth. He was also found to have an elongated skull, which is believed to be a natural physical variation. A previously detected bend in the king's spine is now thought to be the result of the mummy's positioning by embalmers.
The team may have also located Tut's lost penis, which was catalogued during the 1920s but absent during the 1968 x-ray examination.
Though researchers could not be certain, they said the penis is likely loose in the sand next to the body, surrounded by skeletal fragments such as vertebrae, thumbs, and other missing digits.
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